Imaging of transplanted islets by positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasonography

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While islet transplantation is considered a useful therapeutic option for severe diabetes mellitus (DM), the outcome of this treatment remains unsatisfactory. This is largely due to the damage and loss of islets in the early transplant stage. Thus, it is important to monitor the condition of the transplanted islets, so that a treatment can be selected to rescue the islets from damage if needed. Recently, numerous trials have been performed to investigate the efficacy of different imaging modalities for visualizing transplanted islets. Positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the most commonly used imaging modalities for this purpose. Some groups, including ours, have also tried to visualize transplanted islets by ultrasonography (US). In this review article, we discuss the recent progress in islet imaging.

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